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Week 23: On the Loose in Downtown Buffalo

RCMP vehicles in a parking lot

2005-11-27

The week began with another earned privilege, another stripe to add to our credentials: the senior troop epaulettes are finally ours, and that means that there's only one other troop ahead of us in the procession to graduation. I have to admit that looking back, I never thought I'd see the day, but alas here it is. No longer do we have the plain old blue cadet epaulettes, we now sport ones with bright red stripes that can be seen from far and wide.

This newfound responsibility of being senior troop came just in time for one of our major evaluations: final detachments. Spread over two days we each had the opportunity to be the lead investigator as well as back-up officer to one of our troopmates. Although most of us look forward to final detachments it's usually a great source of stress for everyone, with plenty of rattled nerves, and above all else uncertainty. What kind of offence will I have to decipher from the information given? What will be the demeanour of the complainant? The possible suspect? And the others involved? There are just so many questions, and no one to confer with or to hash out the answers with. All you have to get through it is me, myself and I.

As for my assistance as back-up PO, I had mixed feelings about it. It was easy and hard all at the same time. On the one hand, it's simple because the only expectation of me was taking directions, but on the flip side it was extremely difficult to just stand there and not be able to contribute in any capacity. However when it was my turn, it was no longer “one ventriloquist dummy” reporting for duty. To the contrary, I had to be ready to fly with anything thrown at me. From one extreme to another over a very short period of time.

Other happenings this week included rifle qualifications. Although quite unfamiliar territory for most of us (as we had only shot once the previous week) everyone did really well and overall the troop achieved 25 cross-rifle designations (indicating a score of 80/100 and above) and guess what? I got mine too! This is excellent news and it means that I will have an insignia to put on my Red Serge. That's right, no bare arms for me!